Terrain: how to base tree armatures that don’t already have bases or stands? Part 2

May 5, 2011

For cutting and shaping the Fuji Film canister lids, I experimented using both my Olfa packing knife and one of my Excel scalpels  . The Olfa packing knife quickly proved to be unsuitable…the blade size is too big and the chance of cutting into oneself while using it is quite high. The scalpel was far more appropriate, allowing for a good grip and fine blade control.

I experimented with cutting the lid from the topside and the underside. Cutting from the underside was better: . The purpose is to cut away the excess outer ring so that only the inner raised section or cup is retained…you should end up after the first stage of cutting with something looking like this: . The second stage involves refining the cut area, so that it is rounder and on an angle, not perpendicular to the surface it’s going to be stuck to. Here’s a finished one: .

With that complete, it’s time to prepare the tree armatures by shaping them to a shape you want and cut the trunks to the height you want. I kept some of the original shapes; I reshaped some of the others to other shapes; I cut some right back so that they would look like young trees and I also cut away all branches on one angle to make it look like that side of the tree was dying and had already dropped its limbs.  I used side cutters for all this shaping: .

Then I cut the trunks to a range of shorter heights: .

I had already pre-cut the sheet styrene I was going to use as the final bases. These are roughly 50mm x 50mm.

I made two small incisions in an ‘x’ shape in each cannister lid (a cross incision) and got the glue ready.

The last stage was to insert the tree armature into the ‘x’/cross incision in the lid, press the armature & lid combination against the sheet styrene base to make sure the bottom of the armature and the bottom of the lid were equal, and glue it all in place. One lot of glue went on the end of the armature so it whould adhere to the sheet styre, a second lot of glue went on the lid so it would adhere to the sheet styrene, and a third and final lot of glue went on where the armature is anchored in the cross incision in the lid: .

Once they are all cured/dried, I tested them – if something hadn’t glued together properly, I redid it.

The armatures are based and ready for foliage. That’s going to be the next few posts…

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3 Responses to “Terrain: how to base tree armatures that don’t already have bases or stands? Part 2”

  1. Al said

    Cool couple of posts, might give it a bash when the weather improves, brrr, man-cave cold here!

  2. Paul said

    Cripes you have been busy mate. Watch those knives. Al lies, its positively barmy here!

  3. Eastern Funker said

    It’s been cool to cold here, so I do this when I’ve got the heater on. I have a theory that Hob-e-tac really hates humidity above 50%.

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